A House with a Crowded Table

A House with a Crowded Table
Reflections by our staff this Mother’s Day

“I want a house with a crowded table
And a place by the fire for everyone
Let us take on the world while we're young and able
And bring us back together when the day is done.”
From the song “Crowded Table” by The Highwomen

Mother’s Day is the day set aside to celebrate all the mothers in our lives who have supported us and nurtured us over the years. Many of us look to our grandmothers, aunts, older siblings, and other strong women in the community for advice, support, and love. And here at North and Main, we believe in the importance of the kitchen table, where families come together to share a meal while also sharing the details of their day. Here are a few of our staff members' favorite family recipes passed down by the important women in their lives, and the story behind why these particular recipes mean so much. 

Brooke Reynolds is one of our store managers and she shared her favorite handwritten meatloaf recipe passed down to her by her sweet, 93-year-old great-great Aunt Juanita “Coonie” Postel. Here’s why this recipe and the love of her Aunt Coonie mean so much, in her own words.


“The older I get the more I understand the saying ‘it’s the little things in life that matter.’ Little things like small life talks with my mom, stringing and canning beans with my grandmother ‘Nanny,’ or going to visit one of my favorite people, my 93-year-old great-great aunt Juanita ‘Coonie’ Postell. In my family the one thing the women are known for is passing down recipes. My Nanny talks to Coonie just about every other day and she always has a recipe for my Nanny to make and try. In this case, it’s her world-famous meatloaf that she swears is the best ever, and let me tell you the ingredients might make you raise an eyebrow at that statement. However, when you make it you can just feel the love that was put into it, when you smell it cooking your mouth will water, and when you eat a slice… well you can thank me later!

  I am blessed with many mother figures in my life besides my mom. Both of my grandmothers played a huge role in the woman I have become today. My Aunt Teresa is where I get my sassiness. My Aunt Deborah is where I learned how to be strong in my faith, and my best friend's mom was also a second mom to me while I was growing up. It has been and continues to be the mother figures in my life who also serve as mentors. Coonie, however, has perhaps made the greatest impact on my life. Hearing her life story and learning about all the hardships she has overcome has really shown me just what it takes for me to be a strong woman in the world in which we live. Coonie is more than just her hand-me-down recipes, she is who I call when I need gardening advice, need to know how to can pickled corn, or if I’m trying to figure out the best way to put a backing on a quilt. She is a hard-working Appalachian woman who feels blessed with what she has, shares what she has with others, and asks for nothing in return. With that said, Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard-working, recipe-loving, nurturing Women.”

Kennedy Crowe is our North and Main Warehouse manager. When she’s not working tirelessly to fulfill online orders, you just might find her baking some sweet treats for her coworkers and friends. Here is her favorite handwritten “perfect pie” recipe passed down to her by her great-grandmother and the story behind it, in her own words. 

“I am choosing to share this recipe that was passed down to me when my Great Grandmother, Bettye Tomlinson, also known as "Mother Bettye," passed away a few years ago. She was famous for her baked goods that were as sweet as she was! Baking her recipes feels like the best way to honor such a great woman who had such an impact on my life. She taught me many life lessons the most important of which was the necessity of being kind to others, but she also passed down a love of baking.  And just in case you eat too many baked goods, she also taught me that Cinnamon Altoids are the best cure for a stomach ache. ;) I hope to keep her memory alive one pie at a time.” 

Marianne Leek is our store manager as well as “store mom.” One of her favorite things to bake is Amish Friendship Bread. Her mother passed down a starter to her years ago, and she’s been baking Amish Friendship Bread ever since. 

“I love Amish Friendship Bread because you’re baking something for yourself and your family, but you’re also frequently sharing a starter and recipe with others. Sometimes I experiment with the recipe by adding different pudding flavors, nuts, or chocolate, peanut butter, white chocolate, or butterscotch chips. My family loves when I bake it, usually on Sunday afternoons. It makes the entire house smell like cinnamon and vanilla. Because the recipe makes two loaves, I always end up giving one away. Lately, I’ve been gifting one a week to my sweet neighbor. There’s just something about sharing food and recipes with others that brings people closer. It makes it even more special that my mom first passed it down to me. If you need a starter, feel free to let me know and you can come by the store and pick one up. :)”

Amish Friendship Bread

A delicious sweet bread that bonds friends by sharing countless loaves of bread that all began from the same bowl of simple ingredients. Choose a few friends to start this wonderful tradition, they'll thank you for it!


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. vegetable oil or (1/2 c. applesauce and 1/2 c. oil)
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 (5 oz.) box vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts, optional


  1. You will need the "Amish Friendship Bread Starter" to make Amish Friendship Bread. Do NOT use any type of metal utensils or bowls for mixing, it will interfere with the fermentation process.
  2. Day 1 – Do Nothing (This is the day you receive the starter bag)
  3. Day 2 – Knead the bag
  4. Day 3 – Knead the bag
  5. Day 4 – Knead the bag
  6. Day 5 – Knead the bag
  7. Day 6 – Add 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar and 1 c. of milk; Knead the bag.
  8. Day 7 – Knead the bag
  9. Day 8 – Knead the bag
  10. Day 9 – Knead the bag
  11. Day 10 – Baking day!! Follow the instructions below:
  12. Pour the entire contents of the bag into a Non-Metal bowl. Add 1 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ cups sugar and 1 ½ cups milk. Beat with electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth.
  13. Measure 1 cup of the mixture into each of 3 (1-gallon) re-sealable plastic bags. (There will be around 2 ½ cups of the starter left in the bowl.) Seal and mark each bag with the date. This is Day 1 of the Amish Friendship Bread instructions.
  14. Keep one starter for yourself and give the other two to friends along with a copy of the recipe to make their own friendship bread. (If you can’t pass it on to a friend on the first day, be sure to tell your friend which day the bag is at when you give it to them.)
  15. Directions for baking the bread:
  16. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease the bottoms (not sides) of two 9x5-inch loaf pans. Optional: In small bowl, combine an additional ½ cup sugar and 1½ teaspoons cinnamon; dust the greased pans with ½ of mixture. The second half of this mixture is sprinkled on top of the batter.
  17. To the remaining batter in the bowl add: eggs, oil, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract and vanilla pudding and nuts if using.
  18. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until batter is smooth. Stir in nuts if using.
  19. Pour batter evenly into pans; sprinkle remaining sugar mixture over the top, if desired.
  20. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool about 10 minutes; run spatula around edges of pan to loosen loaf. Remove bread from pan; place on cooling rack. Serve warm or cold.
  21. Cook's Note: If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking every 10 days. The bread is very good and makes great gifts.
  23. Banana Nut Amish Friendship Bread: Omit cinnamon and vanilla instant pudding from the basic recipe. Add 1 (5.1 oz.) box banana cream instant pudding, two mashed bananas and 1 cup chopped nuts.
  24. Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread: Omit cinnamon and vanilla instant pudding from the basic recipe. Add 1 (5.1 oz) box of chocolate instant pudding, 3 teaspoons cocoa and 1 cup chocolate chips. Bake for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours.
  25. Apple Cinnamon Amish Friendship Bread: Add 1 cup of raisins and 1 small diced apple to the basic recipe.
  26. Butterscotch Amish Friendship Bread: Omit the vanilla instant pudding from the basic recipe. Add 1 (5.1 oz) box of butterscotch instant pudding and 1 cup of butterscotch chips. Bake the cake in a greased 13" x 9" pan.
  27. Lemon Poppy Seed Amish Friendship Bread: Omit vanilla extract, cinnamon, vanilla instant pudding and nuts from the basic recipe. Add 2 teaspoons lemon extract, 1 (5.1 oz.) box lemon instant pudding and 2-3 tablespoons poppy seeds. Bake in a 2-loaf pans or 1-Bundt pan.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely women in the world who nurture and love those around them on a daily basis. You deserve to be celebrated today and every day!

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